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Changes in nerve growth factor immunoreactivity following entorhinal cortex lesions: possible molecular mechanism regulating cholinergic sprouting

, : Changes in nerve growth factor immunoreactivity following entorhinal cortex lesions: possible molecular mechanism regulating cholinergic sprouting. Journal of Comparative Neurology 345(3): 409-418

To assess the possible role of trophic factors in lesion-induced plasticity, we have used a sensitive immunohistochemical technique to evaluate changes in nerve growth factor (NGF) staining in the hippocampal formation 3, 8, 16, and 30 days following entorhinal cortex lesions. Our results indicate that a band of NGF immunoreactivity appears in the outer molecular layer of the ipsilateral dentate gyrus following entorhinal ablation. The distribution of the NGF-immunoreactive band exactly coincides with the distribution of sprouting cholinergic terminals revealed by acetylcholinesterase histochemistry or NGF-receptor immunostaining. Increased NGF-immunoreactivity is detectable at 3 days postlesion, is most intense at 8 days, and decreases to near control levels by 30 days. Lesion-induced increases in NGF immunostaining also occur in animals in which septohippocampal fibers had been removed by prior destruction of the fimbria-fornix. Increases in NGF-immunoreactivity, however, are substantially reduced in animals receiving intraventricular injections of colchicine, which presumably blocks NGF release. These results indicate that 1) increases in NGF immunostaining, which occur following entorhinal lesions, precede any changes in cholinergic sprouting parameters and are greatest during the period of maximal cholinergic sprouting; 2) increased NGF-immunoreactivity is not due to NGF binding by septohippocampal fibers; and 3) increased NGF-immunoreactivity appears to depend on the release of NGF by neurons that produce it. We hypothesize that, following entorhinal lesions, NGF immunostaining within the hippocampal formation may represent NGF "anchored" within the tissue and that NGF accumulation by such a mechanism may direct the sprouting response of NGF-sensitive cholinergic neurons.


PMID: 7929909

DOI: 10.1002/cne.903450307

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